The value of mammalian models for duchenne muscular dystrophy in developing therapeutic strategies

Glen B Banks, Jeffrey S Chamberlain
Current Topics in Developmental Biology 2008, 84: 431-53
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common form of muscular dystrophy. There is no effective treatment and patients typically die in approximately the third decade. DMD is an X-linked recessive disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. There are three mammalian models of DMD that have been used to understand better the pathogenesis of disease and develop therapeutic strategies. The mdx mouse is the most widely used model of DMD that displays some features of muscle degeneration, but the pathogenesis of disease is comparatively mild. The severity of disease in mice lacking both dystrophin and utrophin is similar to DMD, but one has to account for the discrete functions of utrophin. Canine X-linked muscular dystrophy (cxmd) is the best representation of DMD, but the phenotype of the most widely used golden retriever (GRMD) model is variable, making functional endpoints difficult to ascertain. Although each mammalian model has its limitations, together they have been essential for the development of several treatment strategies for DMD that target dystrophin replacement, disease progression, and muscle regeneration.

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